Dear readers, This month, back to my original country : France, which is not only the "cheese country" but also the "natural slate country" !
Indeed, France is the first consumer of natural slate in the world, importing 94% of its needs from Spain.
The hexagon itself consumes almost half of the world production and it has a very long story with the "blue gold".
For instance, in Les Ardoisières d’Angers, slate quarrying began in the 15th century and was organised on an industrial scale in the mid 19th century and it prospered until after the Second World War. The work left its mark on the town of “blue gold” and is still recognisable today with its quarries, headframes, slag heaps and workers’ houses.
Until 2013, the quarries continued to produce world-famous high-quality slate, which was used for historic monuments as well as public or privately-owned buildings. It was extracted from a wonderfully pure schist formed 450 million years ago. It's now closed.
Béhuard as well, the only island town on the Loire, is a very good example to show the history between french architecture and slate. Indeed, in this village located in a UNESCO Wolrd Heritage Site, only natural slate is allowed for roof coverings.
Another french quarry is called Maël-Carhaix, in Brittany, known because it was the most important quarry in Brittany until the 20th century. It is closed since 1930.
So now, if you want to eat like a real and perfect French, you have to eat cheese on a slate !! Enjoy and be natural® !